Nico Hülkenberg comes to the Sochi Autodrom on the back of his first points finish of 2017 in Bahrain, and arrives with optimism on the back of a productive test last week.
The German finished ninth last time out but felt his Renault Sport Formula 1 Team made progress during the test session at the Bahrain International Circuit, even though he knows there is still a lot of work to be done to be truly competitive.
“I have quite a bit of optimism!” said Hülkenberg. “I think we made good progress to enable us to improve our race pace for Sochi when we were testing in Bahrain and we have some new bits for the car to facilitate this too.
“Of course, the Sochi Autodrom is a completely different circuit, so we can’t accurately predict our relative performance until we get there, but I’m feeling positive. I think we’ve made good progress with the car with some positive updates, which should also make me happy.
“Of course, I’m a race driver so I want improvement in every area! The car is basically good, it’s just a number details where we need to improve. The positive is we know what these areas are and what we need to do to improve them.
“We want more downforce and to improve the car aerodynamically and we want to use the tyres better in the race.”
Hülkenberg has yet to score points in Russia in his three previous visits, with only one finish in that time, but he is hoping for better luck this weekend.
“I haven’t had the greatest amount of luck in Sochi with two retirements and a 12th placed finish, so it would be great to score my first points there in 2017!” insisted the German.